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Houston's growing Hindu community
July 10th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

In Texas, young Hindus want to Americanize ancient faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Houston, Texas (CNN) - In many ways, 29-year-old Rishi Bhutada is a traditional Hindu, not so different from his Indian-born parents.

An officer at his dad’s pipefitting company, Texas-born Bhutada had an arranged marriage in India three years ago and then brought his wife back to his hometown, where they recently welcomed a son.

Bhutada is a strict vegetarian and avoids alcohol, as do many observant Hindus.

Complete coverage: Defining America

And the dashboard of his Toyota Prius is adorned with a small metal statue of Ganesh, an elephant-headed Hindu god known as the remover of obstacles. Bhutada prays to it each morning before leaving his driveway.

And yet Bhutada is a different kind of Hindu than his mom and dad.

His parents were part of a major wave of Indians who arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s and focused their religious lives on building a community of believers and temples around Houston, which was then a Hindu wilderness.

Bhutada, by contrast, wants his religion to step out from that now-well-established Hindu hive to engage the broader culture.

Surprising origins of "Don't Mess with Texas"

Driving to lunch recently at a strip mall Indian buffet, he spoke of trying to forge a distinctly American Hindu identity that’s more tightly woven into the national fabric.

“The immigrant generation is focused on India, on the home country,” he said, noting that the TV in his parents’ house is often turned to a Hindi-language channel beamed in from the subcontinent. “I’m focused on the United States, which is my home country.”

That helps explain why a national group he’s involved with, the Hindu American Foundation, recently launched a Take Back Yoga campaign, aimed at raising awareness about the practice’s Hindu roots and values among non-Hindus.

And it's why Bhutada testified at the Capitol in Austin last year against a statewide school curriculum that calls Hinduism a polytheistic religion, a characterization many Hindus reject.

And it's why one area temple has begun placing copies of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, in thousands of Texas hotel rooms, right next to the Gideon Bible.

The developments speak to a new, publicly assertive stance that’s shared by many first-generation American Hindus across Houston, home to one of the country’s largest and fastest growing Indian enclaves, and by many young Hindus across the nation.

“Our parents had to build everything from scratch to make a united Hindu community in this country,” said Tejas N. Dave, 17, a high school junior who volunteers with a project bringing yoga to unprivileged Americans.

“Now we’re trying to reintegrate it back into society,” he said, “to make people realize that Hinduism is a religion and a way of life and a philosophy that’s not too different from what a lot of others believe. We’re all trying to make a better society.”

Some young Hindus are envious of the attention that American Muslims and Mormons have received in recent years – even if not all of the attention has been positive – and are trying to raise Hinduism’s national profile.

The impulse is not about winning converts. Hinduism, the world’s third-largest religion, doesn’t proselytize.

Rather, many young Hindus say, it’s about making their faith less exotic to others while making it more meaningful to their own modern American lives.

When their parents arrived from India a few decades ago, it was hard enough just being Hindu.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which overhauled the U.S. immigration system by eliminating biases toward European immigrants, among other things, opened American doors to millions of Asian immigrants, including Indians.

Those first arrivals struggled to recreate ethnic and religious networks from back home. When Bhutada’s father, Ramesh Bhutada, arrived in the U.S. in 1968, Houston played host to a single Hindu temple, which had opened earlier that year.

It was a stark change from India, where Hindus can stop into seemingly ubiquitous temples every day for brief visits, helping explain why so many Indians say “Hinduism is a way of life.”

There were more prosaic struggles, too. Many Hindus believe that vegetarianism denotes religious purity and a commitment to nonviolence, but they struggled to maintain that tradition in what was then a very meat-centric American diet.

“There was not even anything like a vegetable burger in those days,” Ramesh Bhutada said.

In those early years, new Hindu arrivals turned their homes into makeshift temples, holding religious education classes for their American-born children.

“There would be kids’ activities in one bedroom and adults in another,” said Dhruval Amin, 28, a Houston-based project manager at an international consulting firm, recalling childhood visits to such homes.

Today, Amin worships at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a sprawling, snow-white temple carved from Italian marble and Turkish limestone that sits on 22 manicured acres in Stafford, just south of Houston.

Opened in 2004, the temple is a proud symbol of the local Hindu community’s growth and prosperity, though it’s a story that’s hardly confined to Houston.

The U.S. Census does not track the number of Hindu Americans; the Census doesn’t ask about religion, period. But data from the 2010 Census show that Texas’ Asian Indian population nearly doubled in size in the past decade, to around 250,000.

Now, for the first time, Indians represent the largest Asian community in the state. Many were drawn by lucrative jobs in Texas’s booming oil, technology and medical sectors.

“A lot of the doctors in small metro markets across Texas are first- or second-generation Indians,” said Ray Perryman, who heads an economic research firm in Waco, Texas. “And the top two or three students in every high school tend to be from some part of Asia.”

Similar trends have emerged in other parts of the country. Nationally, Indian growth has surged by 60% in the past 10 years, according to the Census, with 2.8 million Asian Indians living in the U.S. today.

Indians now represent the country’s second-largest Asian group, after the Chinese.

They’re also among the nation’s most successful ethnic groups, with 71% of Asian Indians earning bachelor’s degrees or higher, compared with 28% of all Americans, according to data from the U.S. Census’s 2009 American Community Survey.

The survey reported that Asian Indians have median household incomes of more than $90,000, compared with $50,000 for all Americans.

Not everyone from that community is Hindu. India’s Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Jain minorities are also represented in the United States.

At a recent yoga class at Houston’s India House, a community center, the instructor was Hindu, and most participants were Indian, but half were Catholic, Methodist or another kind of Christian.

When the instructor, Sarika Phalak, leads open and closing prayers that reference God, she invites participants to speak the name of their own deity. Many say “Jesus.”

Still, Hindu growth around Houston has exploded in recent years, with 19 temples now scattered across the sprawling metropolitan area, most built just in the past decade.

Temple-based Hindu youth camps long ago replaced home-based classes. And several national Hindu organizations now call Houston home.

The city’s Hindu onslaught put Charu Krishna Thammavaram, 28, in closer touch with her religion when she relocated from Lafayette, Louisiana, three years ago.

“I feel like a born-again Hindu now,” said Thammavaram, who works for an India-focused humanitarian group called Ekal Vidyalaya, which is headquartered in Houston.

In Louisiana, the lone “nearby” temple was an hour’s drive from Thammavaram’s home. Here, she had her choice of temples and settled on a Hare Krishna temple after shopping around, just as many Americans of other faiths do.

For many young Hindus, tweaking their religious heritage to make it more relevant has become an important project.

“My parents were just immersed in Hinduism, starting every day with prayer and accepting it without question,” said Kavita Pallod, a native Houstonian and first-generation American who recently graduated college. “But I don’t start my days with prayer. And Hinduism is something I’ve questioned and debated with friends.”

Yet Pallod, 23, has spent a good deal of time thinking about how to apply her faith to her life. “I believe that karma is the principal that guides the universe,” she said, referring to the Hindu concept of cosmic justice. “It’s one of the reasons I joined Teach for America.”

Pallod, who’s training for the teaching program this summer, was speaking at Star Pipe Products, the pipefitting distributor where Rishi Bhutada works and that his father, Ramesh, founded in 1982.

Situated at the end of a bland industrial drive on the city’s west end, the company doubles as a meeting place for local Hindus.

Among its warren of warehouse and offices spaces is a community center where a mural of Swami Vivekananda, a famous 19th-century spiritual leader who introduced the faith to the United States, fills the back wall.

But like the younger Bhutada, Pallod is intent on taking her religion outside officially Hindu spaces. As the president of the Hindus Student Association at the University of Texas at Austin until her graduation in May, she focused on introducing Hinduism to non-Hindu students.

Last spring, her group went all out to get non-Hindus to participate in Holi, a Hindu festival that involves throwing colored powder and water – often at other people – in a playful, rainbow-like spectacle.

“We wanted them to actually experience it themselves as opposed to just sitting there passively,” Pallod said of the event. “We wanted to teach that the colors are all about eliminating differences by making everyone look the same.”

The festival drew about 2,000 people, with many enthusiastically throwing colored powder at one another in the shadow the state Capitol. It was the kind of scene that Indian immigrant parents could have never imagined.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Content Partner • Hinduism • Interfaith issues • Texas

soundoff (2,004 Responses)
  1. Biron

    Like Germans, Latins, Asians, Africans, Native Americans, etc, the Indian people (themselves) are brilliant; however, Hinduism is a religion that is stuck in the pre-Roman era, with a strick cast system that does not gell with modernity. They say that India is the largest democracy; however, I think that the above 300 million untouchables (who live far below any poverty level that we can concieve) would beg to differ.

    Christianity stands upon love thy neighbor as thyself. Christ is the only one who uphold that commandment; therefore, we Christians continually strive for second chances in ths life . . . we do not wait for the downcast to be reborn before we help them.

    Hinduism tolerates the subjucated. Christianity (i.e., protestant non-Catholic Christianity) has uplfted afro-americans, women, and pioneered most of the liberal policies like birth-control that liberals champion today.

    Do not embrace this backward religion. Embrace the Indian, Arabic people instead.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • RamSekhar

      @Biron

      That's a lot of strong biased views put rather forcefully too. A few questions might be in order.

      1) "Hinduism is a religion that is stuck in the pre-Roman era"
      Why do you insist on applying the Roman yardstick ? Smacks of implicit and assumed superiority. So much for 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' you claim to preach.

      2)"Christianity (i.e., protestant non-Catholic Christianity) has uplfted afro-americans.... etc. etc."
      Wow! Now are you also prescribing your choice or flavor of Christianity that the world should follow ? Are Catholics not enough Christian per your beliefs?

      Stained glass looks beautiful on the window. Using it in your eyeglasses though would distort your vision.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • mickey1313

      um, christianity does not promote birth control, and certanly does not promote rights among non whites, what grass are you smokeing.

      July 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • dmf

      Let every one be free to be a believer , in any faith , denomination and religion of their choice . Your corner stone of belief , is not there to replace as a God , of close to a billion people in this world of ours .

      July 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Laxman

      Biron is trying to fulfill his quota of converting. Not a stained glass, he has blinders and claims Modern values when he is himself stuck in some distant hole.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • aditya

      Sooo there are no poor christians..i ll bet a buck that there are at least 300 million of em..and i ll bet u a thousand there aint NO poor hindus outside the country which is why i m focussing only on the 300 m #

      July 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  2. AvdBerg

    Neither is there any salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus Christ) under heaven, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    For a better understanding of the above scriptural references we invite you to read the article Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You? listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    July 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Nathan

      You do realize the story of Jesus was taken from other religions during that time period none of it is real.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • jaya

      And why must we be saved at all? This concept of us being sinners for no reason at all is really crazy. Why can you not just relax -if anyone wants to find out about your religion, they will.Why proselytize to everyone under the SUn?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  3. msmilder

    Great article. Although I'm more of an atheist than anything else, I love to study religion, and am always fascinated by religion in history. What struck me as odd, was that all these Hindus settled in Texas...where you can't spit without hitting a BBQ or Steak restaurant. Kind of like Muslims or Jews settling in Iowa (the Pork capital of the U.S.).

    July 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  4. George

    It not your nation to start out with....immigrants have enriched America, protestant, Catholic, and non-Christians (yes, those people do exist). You and people like you are narrow minded and you'll lead to the destruction of America, as a nation of fringes, racists, bigots, instead of the land of the free, and the hope American dream. Over 50% of NASA scientists are Indians, they have made up a large portion of doctors, and immigrants not only Indians have started up hundreds of silicon valley jobs. Christianity especially protestants are falling in America, because of religious fundamentalists like you. If you don't want Hindus here, then India has every right to kick out your missionaries and and Christians from India. The era of China and India being cheap labor nations is gone, it's getting more expensive, and many jobs are coming back here, or going to poorer nations. India and China is growing right now because of hard work, dedication, tolerance, and a dream. You know all that made America great, that you want to take away. I won't be surprised if your son will be working in Bangalore, or Hong Kong, in the future...not as a computer technician, but rather a burger flipper...but of course you'll deny it till India and China passes us. Better start learning Spanish you and your kids will need it.Aren't a lot of Mexicans Catholic!?

    July 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • George

      This was directed at Biron

      July 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Biron

      Max Planck, the Father of the Quantum was a Christian . . . Newton too was a Christian . . . Countless others. These people thrived in protestant societies. The indians that you mentioned thrive amongst a populace with a prostestant Church on every corner. So do you! You couldn't thrive in a nation with a majority of Hindus or Muslim. It doesn't happen and it will not happen.

      Have you read the Hindu Scriptures? I have! I am well versed in most religions, ancient and contemporary philosophy . . .

      You have no idea what Hinduism is. People like you hate Christianity, assuming that everything else is equal. Christians conquerred the world that you liberals prosper in. I don't see people like you giving the native Americans their land back.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I agree, as a staunch athiest i think that all the christian rederic should stop right away. The vedic (ancent hindu) peoples have had the same beliefs for over 7000 years, (thats longer then the bible says the earths has even evisted).

      July 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Laxman

      Dear Biron, have you ever gone to school for useful education? Or all you were taught is misplaced right wing agenda? How many religions have you read about and how many worshipping places have you visited?

      July 12, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  5. Frankly Speaking..

    The article was about hinduism but there are more reference to islam than hinduism in the comments that follow. I do not feel angry anymore just feel sorry for self-induced apathy and ignorance..Well keep hating but it wont last forever..Either ignorance will end or you will just hope and pray that ignorance comes first 🙂

    July 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  6. Jarhead

    To hear any profound comments on this subject, watch FOX!

    July 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  7. petercha

    As a religion, Hindu is OK (although I am a practicing Christian, I also like to learn about other religions). Hinduism does not bother me one bit. Islam, on the other hand.....

    July 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  8. KS

    You know what!!! I am fed up of you guys fighting over God, so as a representative of God himself, I would like to say the following to you:

    Ooh ooh

    We're no strangers to love
    You know the rules and so do I
    A full commitment's what I'm thinking of
    You wouldn't get this from any other guy
    I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
    Gotta make you understand

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    We've known each other for so long
    Your heart's been aching but
    You're too shy to say it
    Inside we both know what's been going on
    We know the game and we're gonna play it
    And if you ask me how I'm feeling
    Don't tell me you're too blind to see

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    [- From :http://www.elyrics.net/read/r/rick-astley-lyrics/never-gonna-give-you-up-lyrics.html -]
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    (Ooh, give you up)
    (Ooh, give you up)
    (Ooh)
    Never gonna give, never gonna give
    (Give you up)
    (Ooh)
    Never gonna give, never gonna give
    (Give you up)

    We've know each other for so long
    Your heart's been aching but
    You're too shy to say it
    Inside we both know what's been going on
    We know the game and we're gonna play it

    I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
    Gotta make you understand

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    Never gonna give you up
    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

    TROLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL....

    July 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  9. Fazil

    Hinduism Should be more caring towards Nature.. When ever there is a Festival .. Lakes/Rivers are polluted by throwing in idols of so called gods which are worshiped for 11 days then thrown in the lakes/rivers, when a person dies Tress are cut for the pyre , thus cutting down the tress and polluting the Air, People should follow the true teaching of Vedas rather then just following some tradition blindly.. Vedas

    "Ekam evadvitiyam"
    "He is One only without a second."
    [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]1

    "Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah."
    "Of Him there are neither parents nor lord."
    [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]2

    "Na tasya pratima asti"
    "There is no likeness of Him."
    [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]3

    July 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  10. Samay

    It is surprising that Hindus who have respected women and whose religion has women goddesses like Durga, Lakshmi, Sharada, Parvati are being accused of intolerance towards women, for the record the top most official position, the head of a country is currently being held by a woman, president Prathiba Patil, the current ruling party is being headed by Sonia Gandhi who is also a woman. For people who accuse Hindus of intolerance, just a couple of years ago, we had a Muslim president, a Hindu prime minister, a Christian defense minister and a Sikh finance minister all at the same time. This I believe is possible only in a country which is accommodative and polytheist… I agree Hinduism had its own follies like sati, castism etc but they do not originate in Hinduism and were the practices that originated much later, they are against the law and is by and large abolished. Sati was abolished more than a century ago.

    July 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Samay

      and US is not ready for a woman president yet, I doubt if Bobby Jindal and Niki Halley would have won if had not converted and remained a hindu.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • stuck

      I agree... remember, the problem is not always Hinduism, but India itself. Poor education, poor people, irresponsible gov. We need to work on it, chip away the bad one by one.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Ram Sharma

      @Stuck
      Well said. There is every reason to be optimistic about.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  11. AHindu

    Regarding americanizin their faith .. its a tough ask from a 1000ands of year old faith .. the faith will automatically americanize if americans have better knowledge about it .. americans of all shades , black or white or browns ..hinduism has about 2 main flavours .. north and south ..20 main languges .. two classical ancient languages (sanskrit/north and tamil/south) .. three main gods brahma the creator, vishnu the preserver, shiva the destroyer .. rama and krishna are most important avatars of vishnu historically .. krishna happeed 5100 years back to fight for dharma .. after going aay of krishna human beings stopped to live pure lives based on dharma .. and became greedy, warlike, unrighteous .. forgetting god given righteous principles ..
    so dharma is destroyed in kaliyug – vishnu is protector of dharma ..

    dharma means –
    pure living so you dont have to take birth again.
    respect parents.
    respesct all life and nature.
    respect and conduct ur duties towards ur familial
    ties .. true freinds .. society .. with selflessness ..without greed attachment or
    sense of profit .. and many more .. good honest living can call for ..

    Also,one more thing i would like to add ..
    modern hindus are mostly materialistic .. like their counterparts in west .. even when they observe dharma by being vegetarians .. they cant let go of desire for wealth .. fame and much more desires .. holy books of hindus are vedas ..

    July 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • AHindu

      Rama and krishna happened in ancient but modern north indian state of Uttar pradesh ..

      July 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  12. Reality

    Reiterating the obvious:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Paganism,
    and Christianity by the "hatters", "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples or synagogues.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @Reality – Copy and paste much, do you?

      July 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Reiterating the Truth to offset the clanging bells of evangelicals!!! Priceless!!!

      July 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  13. Bobby

    The basis of Hinduism are the Vedas, and the Vedas have NO description of dowry, honor killings, arranged marriages, burning women, etc. Vedas are the basis of Hinduism. Over 600 years of attacks on India from Muslims (Moguls from Persia) and Christians (British Occupation) has basically destroyed this great religion.

    The Temple you see on CNN is built using the Vedic Architecture and that is why it is so beautiful.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Fazil

      THe mughals have Rules India for nearly 1000 Years, they let the people practise their own religion, if they were hard on Hindus they would have wiped hinduism. Its just people like you who spread hatrate.. India still has 80% of Hindus

      July 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Hitesh

      Dear Fazil, you just have to look at the ruins of Hampi which is in Karnataka state to know how the temples have been plundered, that is just one example. Also, we have the modern version of that invasion in Kashmir where hindu pandits were systematically driven out of kashmir with the help of ISI. Leaving aside these extremism, the majority of the muslim population in India is peace loving and progressive, that is why even though India has the second largest muslim population in the world, more than the muslims in pakistan, you do not find a single instance of an Indian muslim indulging in terrorist activities in any part of the world and we are proud to have the richest muslim business man in the world Mr Aziz Premji.

      July 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Rahul Doshi

      @Fazil

      The mughals slaughtered all they could and then more. Heard of Aurangazeb ? As regarding wiping out whole peoples, no occupying force with an intention to establish a kingdom can afford to kill all the locals. It's simply not practical coz they need them to run the establishment and the economy. Makes sense?

      The local hindus were subjugated and subjected to Jiziya etc.. This is what the moors did to Spain too.

      July 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  14. Ramana Annam

    Hindu religion is no better than any other religion with all the flaws and contradictions.
    But Hindu Philosophy as a spirituality raised bar little higher . Check the blog scienceofhindudotblogspotdotcom

    July 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  15. hippo

    Do you have to be a vegetarian to be Hindu? or is it optional?

    July 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • LA

      Optional..I eat meat, just not cow..

      July 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • hippo

      good. i can do without beef. wait. is pork and goat ok? i need a beginners guide to Hindu. I am serious. no joke.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • LA

      @Hippo – I don't know about pork, I don't eat it, mostly because I live in a Muslim neighborhood in India. But yes, I eat goat sometimes.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  16. GodPot

    Someday, when the world is being subjugated by an alien race, and we're almost to tired to lift another shovel full of earth into our Levbarrel, and the sweat from our slave collar chains begins to stink, we will look back on these petty differences between religions and sigh. Oh if only we could have pulled together as a species, banded together as humans instead of squabbling amongst ourselves trying to one up eachother as to which invisible fantasy being was more powerful, we might have been able to resist them, but no, we were doomed from the start...

    July 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • AnIndianChristian

      It can't happen until Money is god and god is Money

      July 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • oblomov

      Word...

      July 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  17. Thiru

    Hinduisim is one of the ancient religions that preaches peace and harmony, cultural values, elderley respect and all great characteristics of being a human. Hindus, while practicing their faith will equally respect other faiths. The beauty is that we never force any conversions nor has any aggression to other faith. A simply philosophy of Live and Let Live...
    India and America have is secular country, like America where all religions are equally respected. When it comes to the topic of off-shoring, I share the pain of some Americans losing jobs. However, we all have to undertstand that this is a globally integrated world, where American businesses have access to a much larger and tremondously growing market share coming from Indian consumerism. Let's weigh in all that into the equation, before we take a side on off-shoring model.
    God bless us all for creating a better society, where we continue our respect to each other.

    July 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • AnIndianChristian

      Hinduism is a Religion????? 🙂
      At least when I was in India (until I was forced to leave the country by some Hindu so-called friends) everything that benefits you is a god. So this is a religion?

      July 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • AEukaryote

      It's really no more preposterous than believing an omnipresent, all-powerful man in the sky impregnated a virgin who gave birth to a son who died and then came back to life – having preformed a number of feats in between which completely defy the laws of physics, chemistry, physiology, and so forth and so on.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • RamSekhar

      @AnIndianChristian

      Are you preparing grounds to get your citizenship by seeking asylum? I hope you know it's risky business. The immigration department knows better than to blindly believe that you were persecuted in India. Just thought I'd warn you not to take that slippery slope.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • AnIndianChristian

      Man! are you guys in the Immigration dept too....:)

      July 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • LA

      @AnIndianChrisitan"until I was forced to leave the country by some Hindu so-called friends." How? It seems like you aren't proud to be Indian, I know many Christians and Muslims here in India, who are proud and living freely. What's up with you?

      July 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • IndyDallas

      @AnIndianChristian;
      What do u mean "forced to leave" ? I highly doubt that. Also even if there a little truth in your statement, why USA, why not some part in India itself ? But let me/us know, we'll glad to help you out to go-back.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  18. Roger

    Well I have some things which I must express. I am christian from India. Hindus go out of India to various countires, and mostly Muslim and Christian Countries. THese hindus live peacfully in all the countries They earn great, they do great and progress in life. But then this Hindus collect money send to India, and they support killing Christiand and Muslims in India... What is this?? could any smart Hindu can explain this?? Does anyone have answer why thousands of Christians were killed in recent years,, why churches are burtn by bible are destroyed...Why you cant answer those things rather than complaining about the countries where you are UNINVITED GUESTS...infact unforced guests...

    July 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • lavakava

      just like how america has extremist christians, india has extremist hindus. it doesnt mean majority are like that. i know in kerala state in india, hindus, jews, muslims, christians (kerala has worl'ds oldest christians outside israel) live in peace and harmony. they are more tolerant than even americans.

      July 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • RamSekhar

      @Roger
      With your pathetic English, I suspect that you are a Paki.
      Your efforts to drive a wedge between Indian Hindus and Christians will not bear fruit. For any one incident that you mention, Indians on this board know that it is not the truth.

      Heck, my best friend is a christian who married a hindu. My cousins married people from different religions altogether, including muslim.

      @Roger, @AnIndianChristian you gotta find a different lens to look at the situation. Clearly, your current perspective is a wasteful exercise.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ramsekhar

      @AnIndianChristian
      Certainly I touched a nerve there, eh? You're way too biased. Take a chill pill.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  19. lavakava

    btw, my white people, having brown skin is not a sin, ever wonder why you try to tan your paleness???

    brown skin is actually melanin and it is a natural sunscreen that protects from the sun. blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin are actually very damaging and sensitive under the sun.

    you white people love the sun more than i do (nu de beaches, etc) so be careful what you wish for.

    July 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  20. AEukaryote

    lol @ people who believe in invisible, all powerful, ubiquitous cosmic beings – whether they be and anthropomorphic bearded wizard in the sky or some kind of divine elephant-human hybridization experiment gone terribly wrong – arguing over whose totally unfounded and ridiculous delusions are better.

    July 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • oblomov

      lol @ atheists who care so much about what others believe.

      – An Atheist

      July 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.